Today, INESAD’s Ioulia Fenton gave a radio interview to Real Food Empire. The program discussed climate change, sustainability, and all things food and agriculture at INESAD, in Bolivia, and beyond. To coincide with the radio interview, today Development Roast brings its readers and Real Food Empire listeners five fascinating indigenous crops and their incredible properties.
On June 27, 2013 Giulia Maria Baldinelli wrote about the effects of rural-urban migration on agriculture in the Bolivian Altiplano, revealing that the high plateau area is a surprisingly large source of biodiversity. The prominent Russian botanist Nikolai Ivaich Vavilov identified the region as being one of the world’s original centers of domesticated plants; the fact that the Altiplano people were one of the first in the world to cultivate edible plants is the reason why they today have such a huge number of crops. In spite of the incredibly harsh environment—altitudes of over 4,000 meters, poor soils, drought, and freezing temperatures for several months of the year—this beautiful region is home to an enormous variety of tubers and grains. The most well known is the potato, but even this holds some surprises – whilst Western consumers may consume a handful of different varieties, according to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) over 400 varieties are grown in the Altiplano, and, according to the International Potato Center (CIP), more than 4,300 across the Andean region. Read More »